The Electoral Commission has nominated seven candidates for the Butebo county Parliamentary by-elections. They are Samuel Khalwa, the FDC Candidate, Zaidi Ziwa DP, Dr. Patrick Mutono Lodoi NRM, Elisabeth Aisu, Kachio Eria and Sajjabi Yothia, all independents. Khalwa, Ziwa, Aisu and Eria were nominated on Monday, while Mutono, Oseku and Sajjabi were nominated on Tuesday.
The closure of nomination ends speculation that Beatrice Asire Malinga, the widow to late Dr. Stephen Malinga would contest as an independent.
She didn’t turn up despite the fact that, she picked nomination forms. Malinga lost in the NRM primaries to Dr. Patrick Mutono. Professor Elijjah Mushemeza, the NRM electoral commission chairperson says that they held a consultative meeting on Monday evening with Asire and all the losers in the primaries and agreed to back Mutono.
However, one of the losers Richard Oseku went ahead and got nominated as an independent candidate. Oseku told URN that he decided to go independent because he was dissatisfied with the manner in which the NRM primaries were conducted.
Oseku explains that he complained at the beginning of the primary elections but the party official ignored his concerns, which he believes compromised the poll results and saw him come third. He claims the polls were marred with vote rigging, voter intimidation and bias by the NRM Electoral commission officials. Oseku says that he does not regret defying the agreement he signed with the NRM party during the primary election.
Shortly after his nomination on Tuesday Dr. Mutono promised to unite the electorate, which has been torn by the primary elections once elected into office.
He lists improvement of educational standards, water and sanitation, road rehabilitation, empowerment of the disadvantage groups such as youth, orphans, elderly and women with income generating projects as top of his agenda. His rival Sajjabi says once elected he will continue with the unfinished business left by the late Dr. Stephen Malinga.
He says that programs include the rehabilitation and improvement of health service delivery, roads and pipe water supply in the constituency.
On her part Elisabeth Aisusays once elected she will focus on reducing the level of illiteracy among the youth, elderly and women. She also says that she will try to empower her constituents economically through initiating and encouraging village saving schemes.
Dr. Badru Kiggundu, the Electoral Commission Chairperson, who supervised the nomination exercise have described it as a success. Kigundu is expected to meet the candidates later today in Pallisa to harmonize their campaign programs which kick off on Thursday.
There are a total of 50, 120 registered voters and 90 polling stations in Butebo County.